MEXICAN NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY TO ATTEMPTING TO POSSESS WITH INTENT TO TRANSFER COUNTERFEIT SOCIAL SECURITY CARDS AND BIRTH CERTIFICATES
Veronica Tehandon-Paneda, 35, a citizen of Mexico who was found to be unlawfully present in the United States and living in Carbondale, Ill.-, pled guilty in United States District Court in Benton on April 28, 2011, to attempting to possess with intent to transfer to others 38 counterfeit United States Social Security Cards and 37 counterfeit birth certificates purporting to have been issued in Texas and California, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. A Federal Grand Jury had charged Tehandon-Paneda in a two count indictment with those offenses on February 8, 2011. The offenses occurred on January 19, 2011.
Sentencing was set for August 4, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. at the United States District Courthouse in Benton. Tehandon-Paneda faces up to 15 years’ imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years on each count.
Tehandon-Paneda has been in the custody of the United States Marshal since her arrest in January and was again remanded to the Marshal’s custody pending sentencing.
The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency with the assistance of the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James M. Cutchin.